Therapeutic Applications

The calcium channel-blocking drugs have been investigated for an unusually wide number of clinical applications. Verapamil-induced improvement of diastolic function has proved to be beneficial in the treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Vasodilatory properties of these drugs are used in the treatment of peripheral vaso-constrictive disorders (Raynaud's disease) and in relieving vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage. There is ongoing interest in investigating protective effects on renal function and in the ability to reduce deleterious vascular changes in diabetes mellitus. Similarly, the potential benefit afforded by their selective vasodila-tory action (especially the second-generation agents) in the management of heart failure is an area of interest. These drugs are of some benefit in a variety of noncar-diovascular conditions characterized by hyperactivity of smooth muscle (e.g., achalasia). However, their main applications are as follows.

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